Trailer Length??

Discussion in 'The Choo-Choo shop' started by ap1672, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. ap1672

    ap1672 Silver Level contributor

    I am looking at purchasing a open car hauler. I have a 1/2 ton p/u rated at 5000lbs towing. Which would you choose 17.5 or 20ft? The towed vehicles will be A & G bodies. I have rented uhaul and it did the job. Is longer better? Shorter would be easier to store. Are radial tow tires worth the upgrade over bias ply?

    Thanks for your opinion?

  2. Chris Cornett

    Chris Cornett Well-Known Member

    Towed many A and G bodies on an 18ft open hauler for years. Radial tires are a no brainer. Make sure you have a brake controller in the tow rig and good working brakes on the trailer. A 1/2 ton truck is going to need all the help you can give it to stop.
  3. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    18ft is big. Most are 16 ft. 20 must be ridiculous. My 69 Riv fits on an 18ft and the rear bumper is even with the end of the trailer.
  4. buickbob1

    buickbob1 buickbob1

    I run an 18', it's a great size. My trailer has dual axle brakes with a controller in cab. I prefer a solid deck trailer, tows better to me.
  5. TomGS72

    TomGS72 Silver Level contributor

    I've been towing my GS on a 16' trailer since 1994. No problems at all.
  6. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    I pull a 20' wih my F250. Never know what you might need to haul besides your car.
  7. red67wildcat

    red67wildcat Well-Known Member

    My old wildcat on a 16 ft, granted the nose was hanging over the tongue but it worked

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  8. bignastyGS

    bignastyGS Maggot pilot

    The biggest and most important thing you need to consider is the weight sticker on the trailer. Your truck can legally haul 5000 lbs. Say your car weighs 3200, Legally, your trailer will only be able to weigh 1800 lbs. I have a Grand Cherokee,it weighs 5400 lbs,is limited to pull 6000 lbs. My 70 Skylark weighs 3100 plus a little. I looked at steel trailers and they were about 1800-2200 lbs alone in the 18 ft and 20 ft deck. Then I looked at the aluminum Featherlite trailers and the 18 ft I have is 1380 lbs,keeping me in under the weight I needed. The trouble is, my trailer has a sticker on it for 7000 lbs. So, essentially, I was overdoing my weight sticker. I pulled several cars and have a brake controller on my Jeep. Never ever had an issue. The way the new laws are in the different states,you could be pinched if your weight of all are over a certain amount. I now have a Ford Powerstroke Dually that I have licensed for 17,000 pounds which when I pull a bigger trailer,I need a CDL license and have a physical. You should not have to be under that guidelines. You should weigh your truck and the trailer and car to see if you need to step up to a heavier weight sticker.
  9. ap1672

    ap1672 Silver Level contributor

    Thank you all for your replies.
    I was leaning toward the shorter trailer.
    Now, I just have to pick one out.
  10. Bad Boattail

    Bad Boattail Guest

    If it's under 53', I don't call it a trailer.....:grin:
  11. Eric Schmelzer

    Eric Schmelzer Well-Known Member

    A few tips for you.
    -Whatever a trailer is rated at is the capacity of the axle's. Example: 2 3500# axles will give rating of 7000#. If the trailer itself weighs 2000# then you can only carry 5000# on the trailer.
    -Whatever you get make sure it has brakes on both axles no matter what you tow with. Install a quality brake controller. Stay away from surge type brakes.(think u-haul)
    -Use a weight distributing hitch.
    -Some trailer manufactures put on used car tires to hold down cost.(This is what I found when I was shopping) If the trailer you buy has this swap them out for tires designed for trailers.
    -As Pat said make sure your tow vehicle is licensed for the total amount of weight you will be hauling (tow vehicle, trailer, and load) My brother learned this the hard way, his truck alone was heavier than what it was licensed for.
    -Use quality tie down straps and check them every time you stop. Keep them as dry and clean as possible.
    -Most important, Tow safe.
  12. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP

    I like toy shopping as much as the next guy, so I went out and took a look..

    After almost 30 years of towing with open and enclosed trailers, I would buy this for a good open car hauler

    I like the 2 5/16 ball.. 2" balls are for boat trailers in my opinion.

    Now, get it with the wimpy 15" tires and wheels, and use it a season.. then sell those on craigslist, and upgrade to 16" wheels and load range E tires.. gonna cost you about $250 per wheel/tire combo (about 1K total) but you will save yourself a ton of aggravation when those 15" load range C tires start to fail.. and they will. And you probably can offset about half of the cost with the sale of your current rolling stock.

    Then, next time you go truck shopping, buy a 3/4 ton. You will be all set.

  13. ragtops

    ragtops Gold Level Contributor

    Get an aluminum trailer, weighs much less and never rusts.
    Buy mine for $5000, 20' bed and weighs 1200lb. It has a 7000' capacity, so about 5800' pay load.


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  14. bignastyGS

    bignastyGS Maggot pilot

    Two of the biggest things you can do to save you hassles and troubles with a trailer is try to store the trailer inside or under a car port, etc. Most people don't have room to put their trailers in and they sit out in the sun. Also,don't park it in the grass or yard and just let them sit. The sun beats on the tires and adverse weather plays a big role in weakening the tires.I have mine under a car port and out of the sunlight for the most part. It is also sitting on a hard surface as well. The other thing is trailer maintenance. Each year, I completely disassemble the wheels and drums,check brakes and related hardware,grease the bearings and check all lights as well as maintenance. The first thing I did to our trailers was to remove the chinese wheel bearings and put some US made ones. We have a 5x8 trailer that we haul catalytic converters to Jersey with that had the chinese bearings in it.I had just maintained the bearings 3 weeks prior to the day when we decided to go local and get mulch. The bearings failed and we ruined the axle. When we replaced the axle with a new one,it had the Chinese bearings. We opted to swap them out immediately.. That trailer Jim posted does look to be a good deal..
  15. Cellguy

    Cellguy 86 Somerset Screamer

    I bought a tilting trailer from these guys in Indiana.
    click on the JRC tilting style. I drove this trailer back to NY empty and had to keep reminding my self that I was pulling something! Zero noise from clanking ramps stowed underneath and this trailer has torsion axles so none of that jump around over bumps empty crap. Plus I'm a big fan of a full deck because I have a back hoe with a small track and I couldn't have a open center. It pulls like a dream loaded. I bought the 7000 but with my race car and back hoe im way under the limit. My tow rig is a Chrysler aspen ( Durango) with a hemi. My only regret is it didn't have LED lighting. I could get it with it but the morning we drove out to the place we ( John Csordas and I ) were on a mission to get back to BPG event before the rain came. So I bought what they had on the lot. Oh yeah and they do CASH price..

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